Question Sheet: Seen on the Science Fair Scene


Before reading:

  1. What kinds of people like to participate in science fairs?
  2. How might a science fair change a student’s life?
  3. Have you competed in science fairs? If so, what did you enjoy most about the

    experience? What was challenging about it?

During reading:

  1. Name two types of opportunities mentioned in this article that science fair

    participants might get to experience.

  2. How did Sasha become interested in growing plants on Mars?
  3. What are some of the obstacles to growing plants on Mars?
  4. How have computers helped Nick with his project?
  5. What do all of Nick’s projects have in common?
  6. What has Nick discovered through his science fair projects?
  7. This article describes a number of young scientists. Their projects tackle a

    variety of subjects. What do they all have in common?

After reading:

  1. Does this article help you think in new ways about your own science fair

    projects? Why or why not?

  2. Veterans of DCYSC and ISEF recommend that you “find a topic you’re

    passionate about.” Make a list of 10 subjects or ideas that you are passionate

    about. Choose one item on the list and explain how you could turn it into a

    science project.

  3. Compare Nick’s projects with Sasha’s project. Which do you think is more

    important or more interesting? Which do you think is better? Explain your


  4. Nick likes to study things “that will impact society in a positive way.”

    What is another safety issue that he could look at for his next project? How

    might he design a project to study this issue?

  5. Based on their current interests, what kinds of careers might Sasha and Nick

    want to pursue in the future?

  6. Do you think science fairs can be negative experiences for some people? If

    so, how?

  7. Sasha says, “I [also] got a lot of experience [from science fairs] with the

    scientific method.” What does Sasha mean by the “scientific method?”


How might your city, state, or country inspire or influence your science fair project?


  1. Come up with five questions you would ask a science fair winner if you were

    going to interview him or her?

  2. How might books help you work on your science projects? How could you use

    the Internet to your advantage?


In the year 2000, 5,870 pedestrians died in motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Nick claims that his hood design would reduce those types of deaths by 70 percent. Compared to the 2000 statistics, how many fewer pedestrian deaths would there be in the U.S. each year if all cars on the road used Nick’s hood design instead of the traditional